In addition to running my marketing agency, I am also the Chairman of a business networking and training organisation called Yorkshire Managers. Because of my role as Chairman of this organisation, I was invited to a prestigious business dinner recently at a plush Thai restaurant in Leeds.
There were 10 of us there in total, including senior managers from local universities, chambers of commerce, large PLCs, and other local businesses. The food was absolutely delicious and the service was superb. One of the attendees was a very professional young lady who was in charge of marketing for this chain of restaurants. Her role was to go round the table and explain more about what her restaurants could offer us as business leaders, for example hiring private rooms within the restaurant for business lunches, networking events, entertaining clients, etc.
At the end of the evening she handed out her business cards to all the attendees along with some publicity materials in a very snazzy ‘goody bag’. A wonderful evening was had by all: great food, great service, and a very professional host.
So the very next day I emailed our host thanking her for a fantastic evening, and explaining I’d be very interested to talk to her about the possibilities of using her restaurant for networking events and other business activities.
I added a ‘return receipt’ on the email so I know that she did receive and read my message. I also included all my contact details including address, email and phone number. So she had absolutely no excuse for not responding to me in a timely manner.
But guess what? Two months have now passed with no reply; no email; no phone call; no communication whatsoever. And as I write this article, she still hasn’t been in touch with me.
So regretfully, I will probably approach a different restaurant (one of her rivals) with a view to using their facilities instead.
How sad that a company can do everything so well, and yet fall down at the final hurdle, simply because they were so slow to respond to a communication from an eager potential customer.
Moral of this story
Even if you have a fantastic product, it is pointless making a lot of effort with your marketing unless you respond quickly and efficiently when potential customers show an interest. The early bird almost always gets the worm.